Diane Ravitch’s Blog By dianeravitch July 5, 2016 //
Budget bill passed, money to fund it still in limbo
ABC27 By Dennis Owens Published: July 5, 2016, 5:36 pm Updated: July 5, 2016, 6:52 pm
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Tourists were easily spotted at the Capitol Tuesday as they took tours and pointed at the gilded artwork adorning the inside of the dome. Legislative leaders were much harder to find, but they were there and spent much of the day shuttling from one office to another. Budget meetings and talks are happening across the complex and behind closed doors. “There’s no question there’s pressure to get this done, yes,” said Steve Miskin, the House Republican spokesman. The clock is ticking. Last week, lawmakers sent a budget bill to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk. They agreed to spend $31.6 billion. They even agreed where to spend it. But they’re struggling to agree on exactly where the $31.6 billion is coming from. “We’re about, depending on who you talk to, about a billion dollars difference on what we have to spend and the revenues that we need,” said Jennifer Kocher, the Senate GOP spokeswoman.
Pennsylvania has a spending plan, but how to fund it?
WHYY Newsworks BY DAVE HELLER JULY 5, 2016 play audio runtime: 10:53
The PLS Reporter July 6, 2016 (paywall)
After a late-week scrap over which sources of revenue to fill the roughly $1.3 billion budget hole have legislative support, caucus leaders returned from the July Fourth holiday Tuesday to once again sit down at the negotiating table, this time bringing additional options for how to fully fund the $31.6 billion spending plan sent to the governor’s desk last week. The leading proposal to emerge from a meeting of the four legislative caucus leaders Tuesday morning was one to include a $300 million loan from the State Workers’ Insurance Fund (SWIF) to replace revenue that could’ve been raised from the reimplementation of a now-controversial Gross Receipts Tax on natural gas.
Read the full story from The PLS Reporter HERE.